jon boat

8 Steps For Jon Boat To Bass Boat Conversion

If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to build the perfect DIY fishing boat, a Jon boat to bass boat conversion may be the perfect answer. Since buying a new bass boat could cost you tens of thousands of dollars, it would be wiser to convert a Jon boat. So how do you turn a Jon boat into a bass boat?

Steps For Jon Boat To Bass Boat Conversion

Get An Affordable Aluminum Jon Boat

Check out the Jon boat in person before you buy it so you know exactly what condition it is in. The best option is an aluminum boat because it is strong, long-lasting, and rust-free. A Jon boat made of aluminum has an extremely long lifespan. Aluminum boats are the best option because of their durability.

Always choose models with wider shoulders. Your customization options will be more varied the wider the base of your Jon boat is.

A base that is too small makes the entire operation unstable and challenging to customize. When the deck is put on, a narrow hull is certain to be very unstable. I advised you to pick a hull that is at least 48 inches wide.

Purchasing Materials

It’s important to take care of a few key issues before you purchase materials or begin any significant conversion work. Here are a few sample inquiries that you can make.

  • Do you plan to include lockers for storage?
  • Where would you put them?
  • What fixtures do you want to put in for chair seats, rod holders, and other furniture?

Once you are certain of the final appearance you want your bass boat to have, you can go out and purchase the necessary materials, such as plywood, screws, marine adhesive, paint, carpeting, etc.

Disassemble The Boat

Take apart the flat-bottom boat: look for weak spots, unscrew bolts, and remove any rotten wood. You might be able to reuse the stainless steel bolts on your boat. Even though rusted bolts are useless, you should keep them so you’ll know what sizes to purchase as replacements.

Tip: If your bolts are severely rusted, the best way to remove them is to tighten the nuts until the bolts snap.

Remove Benches

This step is optional. The design that you have in mind is the only factor. Some might argue that removing any of the benches compromises the boat’s structural integrity. They do have a point.

The benches could be removed, though, if you prefer a more open design. If you do take them out, install solid flooring to strengthen the boat’s structural integrity. Consider it thoroughly before removing the benches. It is crucial that you make this choice.

Sand The Boat

Sand the boat to a smooth surface using 180-grit paper. To hand-sand, the entire boat will take some time. You’ll feel satisfied with the time and attention you put into this process, making it rewarding.

Removing any loose paint that might interfere with your upcoming paint job won’t require you to sand all of the paint; just make sure it’s all gone. To ensure that the new paint sticks well, scratch off the old paint. Before you begin painting the boat after sanding, dust it with an air compressor or vacuum to ensure that all of the dust has been removed.

jon boat

Paint The Boat

You have complete control over the color options for your boat. A style in which only one color is used is also an option.

A different color for either side’s inside and outside, or the same color for both. Utilizing various colors on both sides is an additional choice.

But the best choice should be one that is within your means. If you have more than one color in mind, spray the first color first and wait 15 to 20 minutes before applying the second.

If you’re using the same color inside and out, paint the exterior first, let it dry, and then paint the interior. Tape off any areas you don’t want to overspray while painting.

Building The Deck

Build the framework for the plywood decking. If you intend to have storage beneath your deck, make the frame’s door shape incorporated. Trace the outline of your deck using some scrap wood or cardboard.

This cardboard should be cut and shaped to precisely fit the deck’s frame. After that, cut and shape the plywood using the shaped cardboard as a template.

Continue to test fit the shape as you cut it to ensure that it is properly trimmed. Create a template for your storage door as well. Cut the shape out after tracing it onto the plywood. After that, attach hinges to your storage door and test it to make sure the door opens and closes properly.

A crucial point: Bass boat decks shouldn’t be level to the millimeter. They should have a slight slope so that water can drain into the cockpit as opposed to collecting on the deck as a pool.

Additionally, it is crucial to pick your deck’s height correctly because the higher the deck, the less stable it will be when you stand on it. Additionally, you must set the deck height correctly for safety since you will be standing for a significant portion of the time you spend fishing on this deck.

Finishing Touches

Add a motor, then carpet the floors. Because marine carpet is designed to withstand the rigors of fishing and boating, installing it would be ideal. Install your seats after that, being careful to distribute their weight evenly for stability.

Installing storage spaces under the benches is an option if you decide to keep them in their original location. Installing a fish finder and steering wheel would be some extra touches, depending on your budget and level of expertise.

Do not rush this project; instead, take your time. The steps listed above should not be rushed. Do your Jon boat modification one step at a time.

Tips For Jon Boat To Bass Boat Conversion

  • Buy a Used Jon Boat with a Wide Hull
  • Don’t Buy a Damaged Hull
  • Aluminum Is Better for Framing
  • Don’t Buy Pressure-treated Wood
  • Use the Right Metal Hardware
  • Deck Should Be Mounted at the Right Level
  • Marine Carpets Only
  • Don’t Spend Too Much on Electronics
  • Don’t Economize on Electrical Work
  • Keep It Simple


Asking for assistance when you need it is never a sign of weakness. Even the most skilled individuals will inevitably run into difficulties during the conversion process. the inexpensive way of doing a Jon boat to bass boat conversion is by following the steps mentioned above. Additionally, keep in mind these 10 suggestions to make your Jon boat to bass boat conversion quick, simple, and affordable.

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